August 26, 2015

Chelsea’s vote for Pedro

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

It was a busy week for Pedro.

He started out basically stranded at Barcelona. Manchester United was interested, but wouldn’t pony up the cash despite being flush with it and needing attackers. Chelsea saw this disinterest, came in with a bid and landed the winger. Then, he was in the starting XI for the Blues on the weekend.

All he did from there was score and set up a goal against West Brom to get Chelsea the three points and back on track.

With another world-class attacker like him the lineup, the Blues just strengthened their ability to both defend their title and added a bit of depth to contend in Champions League.

While he may not be the same class of player as Alexis Sanchez, but he could have a similar impact that the Chilean had at Arsenal had last year.

Both are former Barca wingers that can be prolific with the right team around them. And, as his debut proved, Pedro has the right guys by his side.

A big move like this – and rumours are there could be a few more made before the transfer window shuts – is what it takes to ignite both a team and a fan base.

And boy does Chelsea need it after scuffling along the first two games.

What really needs improvement at Stamford Bridge is the defending. John Terry is out with a red card, Nemanja Matic looks a shadow of his former self and Branislav Ivanovic has always been better on the attack.

Kurt Zouma may actually be the best centre back on this team now with Terry showing his age and Gary Cahill being held up by his partners.

It will be interesting to see who Jose Mourinho starts on his back four going forward.


At this point, it’s getting harder and harder to imagine Manchester City not being at the top of the table at the end of the season.

Of course, we are just three games in, but the Sky Blues sure look good.

The offence is humming and the defence hasn’t allowed a goal yet this season. For the first time in team history, they have nine points from the first three games.

They’re even doing it with key defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy, who are both out for a few more weeks at least.

In attack, even Samir Nasri chipped in with a goal – literally.

With Sergio Aguero looking like he’s at 100% after easing into the season, it’s going to be very hard to take points from this team.


I’m surprised I haven’t seen any “Callum Wilson for England” tweets yet.

The Bournemouth striker scored the season’s first hat trick to lift the Cherries to their first ever Premier League win by scoring the club’s first EPL goals.

While he was rather fortunate with the turnovers that created his chances, all that matters is that he was in position to capitalize.

And with a 4-3 scoreline, Bournemouth is finally showing why fans will fall in love with them this season.


How’s this for having confidence in your team: Dafabet, whose name is splashed across the front of Sunderland’s kits, has the Black Cats as favourites for relegation this season … Southampton isn’t even playing in Europa League yet and its already looking in trouble. While the eventual returns of keeper Fraser Forster and Ryan Bertrand will certainly help, this team doesn’t look nearly the same quality as the one that was crushing it for the first half of last season … Liverpool and Arsenal had a couple of chances each, but I definitely wasn’t expected a 0-0 draw on Monday … Riyad Mahrez is going to make a lot of money for Leicester City if they sell him. That guy looks like a real class player, not just a guy on great form … Three weeks in, did you have Southampton, Sunderland and West Brom in the drop zone? … Xherdan Shaqiri showed why he’s so highly regarded with a nice assist of a free kick. Stoke is essentially building a team like it’s being run by a guy playing FIFA.


If Manchester United’s solution to beefing up its attack is to play Maraoune Fellaini as a striker sometimes this season, consider its problem unsolved.

The Red Devils were held scoreless by a lacklustre Newcastle side that isn’t known for its defending.

So far this season, United is averaging just 2.5 chances per game and have scored just twice – including Kyle Walker’s own goal in the opener.

While there were definite signs of promise from Memphis Depay in the Champions League playoff against Club Brugge, that side isn’t exactly up to Premier  League quality.

In fact, Depay lost possession a whopping 35 times against Newcastle, the highest amount by a player this season. Wayne Rooney had a chance but was ruled offside and Javier Hernandez, the “supersub” was stopped in close by Tim Krul.

If this is the attack that Louis Van Gaal is going to go with, it will be a long season at Old Trafford. At least the defence is holding up, even without David De Gea – and hey, can we see a resolution to that sage soon, please?

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